A Family Tree That Needs A Gardener

I decided to write about my family, more specifically the mental issues many of my relatives faced or face, mostly in an attempt to make some sense of what is hereditary or not. In order to understand myself, I have to see what my genetic information is made of.

My mother grew up in an unstable household and she craved a family bond that was never there. She’s a great mother to me. Unfortunately, she struggled with eating disorders during her young adult life because she needs to be in control of something, even at this age. She’s somewhat neurotic and strives for perfection. Sometimes her fixation with food and my well-being makes me angry because she comments on my fitness in a way that feels mean-spirited.

My father is the middle child and has always tried to do things his way but at the same time, he cares too much about people’s expectations. I think he feels that he hasn’t accomplished much compared to his older sibling. I know that he feels depressed but he hides it by being bitter at things. His childhood was him being ignored by his parents while they babied their eldest son.

My grandfather probably had what is now called PTSD. I overheard a conversation my father was having. Apparently, sometimes my grandfather would walk outside and was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t notice people waving at him. He was in the Second World War and had a gun pointed to his head. He was saved when a fellow soldier shot the German. It was a cool story to hear but it never occured to me to think why he told it so often or why he was so quiet after saying it. In many ways, we are alike. He was honest and funny and didn’t apologise for being himself.

My grandmother is somewhat of an enigma because she has no personality, except for many being a bitch and only caring about what others will think of her. She has some form of dementia so everything is nice and dandy for her because she doesn’t know what she’s done. Anyway, that’s another story. I think she was a product of her time, what women should be. Back then, she was destined to be a wife and a mother and that’s it. One time, when I was a child I made her cry by telling her that women didn’t have to be quiet and coy. I used to love her.

There have been many cases of untreated shit that’s gone on for too long, so I’m hoping to make a change. My family is a strange one but the moments that shine the brightest are when we’re laughing all together, telling stories in our typical fucked-up sense of humor.

I just… need to set some things right with myself.